Many people do not realize they have a prescription drug abuse problem until they have been abusing the drug for a while. However, it is important to understand prescription drug abuse and addiction so that you can get treatment when you need it.
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Prescription drug abuse, in the broadest terms, is the use of narcotics more than it’s prescribed. This can mean numerous things though. First and foremost, if a person is using a prescription drug that was not prescribed the drug in question, this means they are abusing the drug. Even if a person is prescribed the drug but they are taking more of the drug or in more frequent doses than recommended, a person is said to be abusing prescription drugs. Additionally, if that person is told to consume the drug in a specific way (such as swallowing pills) and they change the way it is consumed (crush the pills and snort the drug), then they are also abusing the drug.
Some of the most addictive, and therefore the most commonly abused prescription drugs include the following categories:
Opiates are prescription drugs that are maybe the most addictive class of prescription drugs. They are extremely potent and effective at what they are designed to treat. Opiates come from a substance found in the seedpods of opium poppies. They may also be known as opioids or narcotics. Opiates are narcotics used to treat moderate to severe pain. They have the added effects of slowing the heart rate and a person’s breathing which in turn makes them feel immensely calm and relaxed. Additionally, they often cause a sense of euphoria due to the release of dopamine they stimulate. Examples include:
Sedatives are prescription drugs that may also be referred to as central nervous system depressants. They are most often prescribed to treat mental health disorders in the anxiety family as well as PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). On occasion, these sedatives may also be used to treat seizures and seizure disorders. Sedatives calm and relax a person by slowing the functions of the central nervous system. Examples of sedatives include:
Stimulant drugs are quite different from the other two categories of addictive drugs. They are designed to stimulate the central nervous system and therefore cause the brain to perform certain actions. Often stimulants are prescribed for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or seizures. They make a person more focused and attentive. Additionally, these drugs can cause an increase in energy and a loss of appetite. Stimulants include:
Overcoming an addiction to prescription drugs starts with detox. Because withdrawals from prescription drugs can be quite severe, detox is safest and sure to be the most successful in a medical detox program. In medical detox, doctors can treat severe withdrawal symptoms if and when they occur and can provide prescription drugs to make detox gradual rather than sudden and abrupt. After it’s completely out of the person’s system, they can begin therapy in both individual and group sessions.